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Fake IDs Don’t Fool Anyone in Oxford

Within the past month, two of every seven Ole Miss drug or alcohol reports mention incidents with fake IDs. As a college town and home to many minors, Oxford officials and employees see their fair share of this crime.
University Police Department Sergeant Jesse Richards said underage students may not fully understand the risks of using a fake ID. Minors risk paying up to $700 in fines or potentially committing other crimes, such as driving under the influence.

The bar top in Frank & Marlee’s is covered with confiscated fake IDs. Photo by Hailey McKee.

“The legal age to drink is 21,” Richards said. “It’s there for a reason. You have a certain level of maturity and responsibility with drinking. That’s why if we have an opportunity to educate minors rather than punish, we educate.”
Richards said an officer’s choice to write a citation for a fake ID usually depends on the context of the student’s initial violation.
For example, if a student is in possession of drugs and has a fake ID, the officer will probably write a citation for both charges. A student who is pulled over in traffic and has a fake visible may just have the ID taken without a write-up.

Many of these underage students have actually had fakes taken when trying to use them at bars in Oxford. Bouncer Chance Davis knows a fake when he sees one by looking at holograms, colors, and feeling or scanning IDs.
“With Mississippi, it’s pretty much easy because I’m from Mississippi,” Davis said. “You have the darker green on the shade of it. The name is really small. The blue in the background of the picture is a lot darker.”
Davis said he still sees fakes often even though they are a violation to the University’s alcohol policy.
Coordinator of Student Wellness Taja Hereford said students may have to experience the consequences of this crime on their own to understand them. However, students are commonly told the risks of using fakes around campus and in class.
“Our office really works with prevention and telling them if they do have a fake ID, which is illegal, they’re putting themselves at a higher risk for different consequences,” Hereford said.
With the number of online suppliers increasing, fake IDs and their consequences will continue to be an important issue to address in Oxford.

“Our desire is to prevent the usage of fakes, if we can, because their effects might harm students and potentially others in the community as well,” Richards said.

Hailey McKee is an intern for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at hcmckee@go.olemiss.edu.
For questions or comments, email hottytoddynews@gmail.com

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